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Reproduction of a merkhet


Reproduction of a merkhet, ca. 600 B.C.
London, Science Museum, inv. 1913-573

It consists of two parts: a horizontal bar with a plumb line and a sighting instrument made out of a V-shaped palm rib (bâi). By setting his aim on the plumb line through the V and aligning it with the North Pole Star, the observer could fix a north-south bearing and estimate the time by the transit of certain stars as they cross the meridian.